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Splitting and recombination of bright-solitary-matter waves.

Wales, Oliver J. and Rakonjac, Ana and Billam, Thomas P. and Helm, John L. and Gardiner, Simon A. and Cornish, Simon L. (2020) 'Splitting and recombination of bright-solitary-matter waves.', Communications physics., 3 . p. 51.


Atomic Bose–Einstein condensates confined in quasi-1D waveguides can support bright-solitary-matter waves when interatomic interactions are sufficiently attractive to cancel dispersion. Such solitary-matter waves are excellent candidates for highly sensitive interferometers, as their non-dispersive nature allows them to acquire phase shifts for longer times than conventional matter-wave interferometers. In this work, we demonstrate experimentally the splitting and recombination of a bright-solitary-matter wave on a narrow repulsive barrier, realizing the fundamental components of an interferometer. We show that for a sufficiently narrow barrier, interference-mediated recombination can dominate over velocity-filtering effects. Our theoretical analysis shows that interference-mediated recombination is extremely sensitive to the barrier position, predicting strong oscillations in the interferometer output as the barrier position is adjusted over just a few micrometres. These results highlight the potential of soliton interferometry, while putting tight constraints on the barrier stability needed in future experimental implementations.

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Publisher statement:This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article’s Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article’s Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit
Date accepted:20 February 2020
Date deposited:19 March 2020
Date of first online publication:13 March 2020
Date first made open access:19 March 2020

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